The history of Portuguese gastronomy is naturally connected to the capacity to integrate the products nature gives us and to the influence of the people who occupied this country. From the Phoenicians to the Romans, from the Moors to the new generations, the Portuguese cuisine is the result of contributions by all those who have occupied the Peninsula.
The age of Portuguese maritime discovery has played a large part in the portuguese gastronomy, with the introduction of spices and bittersweet flavours. Besides spices, a whole variety of products have been introduced. Today products such as bean, sugar, cod, potato, aromatic herbs and many others are regarded as standard in the Portuguese kitchen. Through this global discovery Portugal also introduced these products into Europe.
The diversity of Portuguese cuisine, as well as its origins, comes mainly from the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, as is clear from the strong presence of fish and shellfish.
The foundation of Mediterranean tradition is based on bread, wine and olive oil. This trend spread all over the country finds different nuances according to the contribution of each region. Meat and sausages make up the base of core products in many Portuguese dishes, especially in the North region.
The heritage of the Portuguese cuisine is also a result of its history, geography, constraints and developments undergone by this nation and its people, based in regional cuisine that still holds such a great meaning today.